- It gives me neither a warm nor a fuzzy feeling to think that it’s almost EVERY fanbase in the league lamenting the lack of success and championships during the Brady/Belichick era. They’re sucking all the Super Bowl oxygen out of the air on an annual basis. Sure, there are other fanbases that have gotten to watch better football from their team than we have here in Washington, but on the day after the Super Bowl—especially one in which Tom Brady stands on yet another podium—thirty fanbases all kind of feel the same thing (maybe 29...the Saints fanbase has officially spun right off the planet). In this way, we Redskins fans are as emotionally close to our NFL brethren as we are going to be all year. It’s like a sports-passion eclipse (and yes, I believe that is technically—biologically, even—an eclipse of the heart). Don’t feel directly into it, or you might never feel again.
- Unsatisfied with sucking the joy out of postseason football for so many fans of the game who rarely say things like, “I can’t wait to see the Pats run HB Lead and Dive plays all playoffs long,” Belichick set his sights on draining the fun out of the actual Super Bowl. (I guess I am exaggerating a bit...both defenses deserve the credit for that Stalemate Bowl.) Leave it to Bill Belichick to notch his widest margin of victory in a Super Bowl in the lowest scoring championship of all time. That guy doesn’t do anything the normal way. And with regard to the entertainment value of the Super Bowl spectacle, it was not a fun game to watch (except for those long-starved New England fans...) and neither the commercials nor Maroon 5 changed that. I believe this to be true, but I am also shocked by it. I mean, it actually was a close game...decided in the end...with two very well-coached defenses trading blows. Low-scoring and puntalicious was not what I was thinking going into the game, so why wasn’t I more drawn in to the unexpected phenomenon that was happening? I argue that in the last 20 years, the human race has evolved. Just as we developed standing, walking and communication habits to adapt to our environment, I believe the human race has officially evolved in adaptation to Belichick/Brady. We now know—instinctively—that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick don’t lose close games. There was not ever any actual, real drama. I bet they skip over this in the next Planet Earth series, which would be a real failure given the change in climate in the NFL over the last few decades. Some argue it’s man-made. Some argue Brady isn’t human.
- I tip my hat to Sean McVay, former Redskins coordinator and crusher of...well, I’ll save at least something for the podcast (which will be streaming LIVE on Hogs Haven tomorrow night). It was another great season for the young head coach, and I thoroughly enjoyed pulling for him in the championship. I need to watch the game again to really get a sense of if and where he turtled up a little bit, or if his coaching was thwarted by execution errors and dinged up superstars. He showed he belonged on that stage, and he remains one of our best chances to take down Belichick in next year’s Super Bowl.
- I finally arrive at a topic I brought up on last week’s show, which is a big deal for the Rams and will likely be a big part of Washington’s offseason strategy. That topic is, of course, the idea of a quarterback on a rookie contract. I have been saying all year that I don’t think the Rams are going to keep Goff when his rookie deal is up. It didn’t help that with everything on the line, Goff looked like...well, like a quarterback who may have started a game for Washington, posting his 19/38 and 229 yards with a pickle. The Rams are LOADED with talent. They are paying top dollar for top talent on the defensive line, at running back and in other skill positions. They have some youngsters coming up to free agency over the next couple seasons that should look pretty good in Rams gold on long-term deals. You can afford to do that when you have a guy at quarterback capable of producing in the offense...and on a rookie deal. Goff’s rookie contract is even one of the worst kinds (1st overall) and he is still returning mad value to the franchise thanks to his roughly $8 million cap hit this year and next. Offensive geniuses in this day and age don’t get married to players—they get married to their genius. I don’t believe Sean McVay thinks his offense will skip a beat when they draft the next guy to come in and take Goff’s place. Guys like Sean think they can coach up whatever player they are given, and they know they have a cast of characters surrounding the quarterback position that is going to make it easier. I would bet they even entertain trade offers for Goff at some point...sooner rather than later (heard it here first). As for the Washington Redskins, they already have a crazy amount of money going out the door at the quarterback spot, so they can’t necessarily net the same benefit the Rams are getting these days. Instead, they need the rookie quarterback contract because it is the only one that fits on the books. Washington needs to identify a player that can contribute in this offense and be worked in while Alex Smith takes a year off to compete in the one-legged man ass-kicking circuit. Trust me, I am doggy-paddling through the irony here, since the Redskins have employed the OPPOSITE of this strategy in recent years, paying Kirk Cousins the maximum you could pay a guy two years in a row. Salary cap poverty should drive the Skins right into a beneficial situation.
- Our offseason has been in full swing for a month or so at this point (feels like longer), but now we are starting to really move away from the shore and out to sea. No NFL to watch until the Hall of Fame game in August (yes, I watch that game), free agency is over a month away and the draft is almost three months away. We are well on our way to Tom Hanks from “Castaway” territory. Hide all the volleyballs. I always get a little freaked out around this time of year. It’s like parachuting out of a plane at super high altitude in the middle of the night so you can’t see what you’re jumping over...oh, and your parachute was packed by either Dan Snyder or Bruce Allen. (I have never parachuted from anywhere, although I did jump from a shed roof holding a beach towel once—IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. I base most of my skydiving banter on scenes from “Point Break.”)
- Some of you know that I have been meeting with two of my best friends every Tuesday night in the basement podcast studio and doing a Redskins show for Hogs Haven for three years now. We continue that tradition tomorrow night and we will commit to doing what we did last week, which was to put up the live stream on a post on Hogs Haven. We stream it live on video (on the 1st Amendment Sports YouTube channel. Subscribe for FREE here.) We have some fun guests lined up in the coming weeks, and we have some cool live events surrounding free agency and the draft that I hope you will check in on. “Offseason On the Brink” is our offseason show (“After the Whistle” is our in-season programming.) Thanks to all of you who have given us a listen/watch. Tim, Kevin and I appreciate you, and we will be attempting to be more interactive for a show or two, though reading comments while drinking whiskey is a dangerous venture. If you subscribe, you should get a notification of when we go live.
Another year...another Patriots Super Bowl title. Does that weirdly make Redskins fans feel better?